Recorded in the aftermath of personal turmoil and the dissolution of Elektra as a record label proper, Yolanda Adams' tenth career album, Day by Day, had every reason to get lost in the shuffle. It almost did, as the album appeared nearly four years after Believe, the underwhelming follow-up to the singer's now-classic Mountain High...Valley Low -- the benchmark against which all other Adams albums must be assessed. Day by Day sees the songstress grabbing hold of her gospel heritage with more aplomb than ever before, if not in sound, at least in message, sidestepping the inspirational pleasantries of previous semi-hit "I Gotta Believe" or her cover of R. Kelly's "I Believe I Can Fly." Here, Adams doesn't succumb to niceties and offers unabashed declarations of triumph in Christ ("Victory"), praise ("Lift Him Up"), and gratitude ("I'm Grateful"), all of which are delivered with such joy and gladness that you'd never think Adams recorded them in the face of trials. More striking still is Adams' ability to switch gears and slow things down, entertaining her urban soul sensibilities with the class of an Anita Baker or a Toni Braxton, but suffusing them with her own brand of uplifting contemporary R&B. What sets her apart from other smooth divas is that she's an encourager first and a singer second, something that's self-evident in the chart-topper "Be Blessed," the slow-burning "Someone Watching Over You," and the stirring "This Too Shall Pass," collectively some of the most inspiring material Adams has recorded. She isn't just content with singing to her audience, but she outright demands their attention -- not forcefully, but with poise and elegance, using her own victory over hardships as leverage. It all amounts to one stunning, well-balanced collection -- and the de facto follow-up to her beloved Mountain High.
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AllMusic Review by Andree Farias